The 30 Year Old DJ

I'm 30 years old, love music, and am about to become the sickest DJ my bedroom has ever seen.

But first, let me give you a a bit of a backstory...

In the late 90s (high school, for me) I found house music. I had mostly been listening to terrible metal and rap at the time… but once I heard those crazy electro sounds, I started to become super interested. I even started going to some under-18 dance clubs in the Quad Cities.

As soon as I heard a DJ mixing these crazy electro tracks on ridiculous house systems I fell in love. I still remember that first club pretty vividly… Not only was I blown away by what I was hearing, I was also blown away by what I was seeing. There was an entire room of people just raging out, crazy raver kids, etc. It was a completely different experience and environment than I was used to. And it was all being controlled by that one dude in the DJ booth. I loved it. I began collecting mix tapes and sets from DJs like Bad Boy Bill immediately.

Fast forward to college.

I became roommates with a dude who was into music as much, if not more than I was. We got involved with the group that brought musical acts to our campus. I was in charge of setting up and tearing down sound systems for events and concerts as they were booked. While doing this, I started playing music on the house mixer before events. As time went on, I started trying to beat match CDs and keep a flow going between my tracks… I was DJing.

So I started actually DJing a couple campus events at things like freshman orientation week, etc. During one of my first daytime events I remember being told to cut the music during a certain vulgar line of "Damn, It Feels Good to be a Gangster" haha… I was so mad. I yelled at the woman who told me to cut it off that "It's going to sound terrible if I just flip the track right now!"

Either way, I did it... and I learned that you should always get your next track cued up right away. I also learned that it's maybe a good idea to keep a "clean" crate in your collection.

As this went on, my roommate and I started talking about DJing some events together. I began practicing sets with CDs while my roommate was practicing sets on his computer with MP3s and music videos. Shortly after, I was DJing more campus events and my roommate was throwing dance parties. We switched off between mixing CDs and setting up full-on desktop computers to DJ with some crappy software.

For comedy-sake, I should also mention that we never thought of a good DJ group name, so we were just called, "Those 2 DJs." In fact, my roommate came up with a logo for our little DJ group and still has it tattooed on his arm til this day! …No, his tattoo doesn't say "Those 2 DJs."

After college.

I started thinking about getting serious and trying to DJ some clubs in Des Moines. I didn't have the luxury of borrowing campus equipment anymore so I started researching my own equipment. I quickly realized this was expensive - really expensive. I remember sitting in my tiny apartment office and thinking that DJing wasn't a hobby that I necessarily needed to pick up while I was young. Sure I'd need to make sure I was staying on top of music if I got into it later in life - but really, I had too many hobbies. I wasn't ready to throw 3-5 grand into a new one. How about I just keep working, skating, and having fun while I'm young… then when I'm 30 I should be loaded and less busy. I'll start DJing when I'm 30.


Welp, here I am… 30 years old. I'm definitely not as loaded or as free as I thought I'd be, but... I suppose I better keep that promise I made to myself anyway. And what better of a situation could I be in? I'm temporarily living in a house full of dudes, often times hanging out bored in my room - much like the days when I started messing around with music in the first place.

So here goes nothin! I brought my records to Chicago, bought myself a good pair of used turntables, and have Serato on order. Hopefully I'll be able to throw a party and play some tunes for y'all sometime soon.

… and now's the time where all you DJs in my circle give me tips on getting started. I definitely don't serve any kind of threat to the residencies y'all are holding down, but I'll let you spin some records at this bedroom residency I've got!
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